Not your average soup and salad!

Monica says:

Today was the first snowfall of the season where we live!

I must admit, even though I was secretly hoping that we might skip winter weather all together, it did look beautiful while it was falling!

So since we are working on delivering great soup recipes this month, the soup that I chose for this week is a home run!

As I was going through my recipes this Cream of Crab soup popped out and I just knew that I had to make it…crab is a favorite of ours IN anything, ON anything, and WITH anything!

So I had a handwritten piece of paper, torn on one edge, folded and creased….but I was able to track down the original recipe online.

It just so happens that this recipe won the “Grand Prize” in the Soup Division of the Annual National Hard Crab Derby in Crisfield, Maryland, on Labor Day weekend of each year. So since it was the winner in 2000, I just had to replicate it!

Turns out, that the recipe is gluten free!

The only thing that I changed was instead of using cornstarch, I used 1 T of arrowroot starch in ½ cup of  water to thicken the soup.

Yep, that was it!

And let me say, this soup is a full fat dinner or lunch…no skimping here! And surely not for the lactose intolerant, unless Lactaid tabs work for you!


So here is the recipe, credited to Ms. Char Ann Smith…great job, Ms. Smith!

Award Winning Maryland Cream of Crab Soup


1 pint whole milk

1 quart half-and-half

2 pints heavy whipping cream

1 lb jumbo lump crab meat (only from Maryland will do!)

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

3 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning

1⁄4 cup butter

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄8 teaspoon pepper



dry sherry, to taste



Bring milk, half and half, and heavy whipping cream to a boil. Add crab meat, fresh parsley, Old Bay Seasoning, butter, salt and pepper. When it starts to boil, make a paste of cornstarch and water and add to thicken soup.

To serve, sprinkle each serving with a bit of Old Bay and chopped parsley. Serve with oyster crackers and a small cream pitcher of sherry on the side for diners to add to taste.

That’s how we do it in Maryland!

© Char Ann Smith of Bishopville, MD


To go along with the cream of crab soup, I decided to make a salad with some great ingredients that I had in my fridge.

I wanted it to be fresh and have a lot of texture.

Here’s what I came up with!

Roasted Squash with Beets, Spinach, and Feta


2 acorn squashes, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces (you can use any squash you choose)

4 organic beets, roasted and cut into bite-size pieces

Bed of organic baby spinach (or greens of your choice)

1 (15 oz) can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Pomegranate seeds

Salt and pepper to taste

Feta cheese crumbles for garnish


¼ cup orange juice (from the carton or freshly squeezed)

⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil


Preheat the oven to 400˚ and when ready, roast acorn squash with olive oil, a sprinkle of Autumn Harvest spice blend from Calicutts (or pumpkin pie spice), salt and pepper for approximately 40 minutes or until tender. Turn halfway during roasting.


Whisk the dressing for the salad and set aside.

When the squash is done, cool slightly and then begin assembling the salad.

Place a bed of organic baby spinach in the bottom of a bowl, top with roasted squash (it smells amazing), organic beets, pomegranate seeds, salt (not too much, since the feta cheese is salty), and pepper.


Drizzle with orange/oil dressing.

Garnish with feta cheese.


© 2016, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk whisks

Oh, so delightful!

So soup and salad definitely warmed up our night!


How about you? Soup and salad?


© 2016, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk








It’s National Crab Day!

Monica and Daria say:

We just love when Lewie (hubby and daddy) cooks!

He is great in the kitchen…will try any recipe that looks intriguing and his food is always delightful!

We are very luck women!

In honor of crab day and since we posted our crab cakes in an earlier post, we wanted to share a crab soup or bisque that Lewie whipped up for a cold winter evening.


This soup uses FRESH lump crab meat…that really makes the difference! The crab is so sweet and tender; it literally melts in your mouth!

So without further ado…

Crab Bisque

Preparation time:  20 minutes

Cook time:  45 minutes

Servings:  6


1 cup onion, minced

1 cup carrot, minced

21 ounces of chicken broth (we like College Inn low sodium in the box)

4 tablespoons GF arrowroot starch

6 tablespoons butter

1 cup heavy cream

1⁄2 cup cooking sherry

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less if you don’t like spicy!)

Fresh chives, minced (optional)

Pinch of kosher salt

1⁄2 pound fresh lump crabmeat



Sauté onion and carrot in 2 tablespoons butter until soft. Set aside.

In a 4-quart saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter and add arrowroot starch, whisking constantly over medium heat until roux becomes light brown (about 5 minutes). Make sure it doesn’t burn!

Slowly add chicken broth, whisking constantly to ensure mixture stays smooth.

Add onions and carrots, cover, and simmer for 1/2 hour.

Add cream, sherry, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, salt, and crab and simmer an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

Garnish with fresh minced chives if desired.

Note:  Adapted from a recipe on



© 2015, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk


Creamy risotto…worth the wait!

Monica says:

Wishing we were still in Italy…I can’t believe that we were able to see such a wonderful place!

It was breathtaking in so many ways…the sights, the sounds, the smells.

And of course, I am remembering some of the food that we enjoyed. One of my favorite lunches was a seafood risotto in Venice…oh, it was so delightful!


So it made me wonder…can I actually make a risotto that comes even close to that one?

I am always up for a culinary challenge and I will try any recipe at least once, so…

My quest for a shrimp risotto began.

And this is what I came up with while cruising around on various food sites.

Thank you, Epicurious

Shrimp Risotto


  • 5 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice* or medium-grain white rice
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley



Bring broth and 1/4 cup wine to simmer in medium saucepan. Reduce heat; keep hot.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon garlic and crushed red pepper, then shrimp. Sauté until shrimp begin to turn pink, about 2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup wine. Simmer until shrimp are just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Drain shrimp, reserving cooking liquid.

Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and remaining 1 teaspoon garlic; sauté until onion is pale golden, about 4 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat, about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups broth mixture. Simmer until liquid is absorbed, stirring often. Continue adding broth mixture 1 cup at a time, stirring often and simmering until liquid is absorbed before adding more, about 20 minutes. Stir in reserved shrimp cooking liquid. Cook until rice is just tender and mixture is creamy, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat.

Stir shrimp and 2 tablespoons parsley into risotto. Season risotto to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowls. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons parsley.

What I did differently…

I used ½ pound of cooked shrimp (I had a bag from Sam’s Club), so I didn’t have to sauté the shrimp….just added them in with the wine.


I also added mushrooms when I added the onion and garlic. Since I had a bunch of fresh mushrooms that I didn’t want to waste, it seemed like a good idea…and it was!


The only thing about making risotto is that you need to be focused on what’s happening in your skillet at all times. The risotto demands your attention in order for it to be creamy and smooth (you will be stirring it almost constantly) ….and of course, that’s the desired outcome!


Timing is important, too.

Risotto needs to be eaten immediately. If not, it may become dry! Who wants to eat dry risotto??

There you go…shrimp and mushroom risotto with a side salad. Delicious!


So if you’ve never cooked risotto, give it a try…it’s easier than you think!

All you need is “Solo un altro po’ pazienza” (Just a little patience!)

Your tummy will thank you….and be super happy!

© 2014, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

Did you ever try Scallops Scampi?

Monica says:

I cook almost every night. I guess you could say it’s just a part of my day.

When our girls were little we always tried to sit down and eat dinner together if our schedules allowed it. It was the best time of the day….and even though our girls are all grown up and on their own, we still love sitting down to dinner.

Most people have eaten shrimp scampi, but how about scallops scampi?

No, I hadn’t ever heard of it either.


I was helping my sister Maria clean out her house since she and her hubby were moving. Since I am a recipe addict, I spotted some torn out recipes from magazines and voila!

Scallops Scampi!

The original recipe (from Good Housekeeping) called for a bed of couscous and of course, since we can’t have couscous, I substituted quinoa.

It was easy and so delicious! See for yourself!


Here’s the recipe:


1 c quinoa

1 ¼ lbs. sea scallops

1 lemon

I clove garlic, crushed

4 zucchini (8 oz. each)

1 T butter

2 T chopped fresh chives

salt and pepper


Prepare quinoa according to package.

Rinse and pat scallops to dry.

Grate 1 tsp of zest from lemon and then squeeze 2 T of juice.

In a bowl, toss scallops with garlic, lemon zest, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper.

Make the zucchini ribbons by taking a vegetable peeler and slicing each zucchini lengthwise into long pieces until you reach the seeds and core. Discard the cores. Set ribbons aside for later.

In a non-stick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Place the scallops into the pan and cook 5-6 minutes on each side. Make sure you only turn them over once! When they are done, remove them and place on a plate.

Add the zucchini to the skillet. Reduce the heat and cook with a lid on for 2 minutes making sure you stir the ribbons at least once. Uncover and cook an additional minute or until tender and crisp. Remove zucchini from heat; stir in lemon zest and juice.

Spoon quinoa onto each plate and then top with zucchini ribbons. Place several scallops on top and sprinkle with fresh chives.

What a great dinner!




Now all we need is to have our girls at the dinner table with us!

But as Bjarne Reuter said, “Children have the unforgivable habit of growing up.”

© 2014, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk